Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Per Fredrik Scholander Papers
Identifier/Call Number: SMC 0116
14.8 Linear feet
(16 archives boxes, 1 card file box of glass slides, 8 flat boxes, 1 map case folder, and 2 films)
Date (inclusive): circa 1930-1991
Abstract: The collection consists of papers documenting the life and professional career of physiologist Per Fredrik Scholander. Papers
include biographical materials, admistrative files, research and expedition activities, lectures and writings, committee service
and honors, as well as images, media and scrapbooks.
Media in the collection is restricted; patrons must request user copies be produced.
Per Fredrik Scholander was born in Orebro, Sweden on November 29, 1905. He moved to Norway in 1924 where he attended the
University of Oslo, obtaining his M.D. in 1932. Although he was studying medicine at the time, his attention was drawn to
lichens and he was guided by professor of botany Bernt Lynge. Through Lynge, Scholander was able to spend three summers, in
the years 1930-1932, conducting research in Greenland and Spitzbergen. Scholander went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Botany in
1934, also from the University of Oslo.
He travelled to the United States as a Rockefeller Fellow in 1939. There he continued his studies of diving physiology at
Swarthmore College, collaborating with Laurence Irving. Irving joined the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and Scholander
followed. The two men continued making scientific contributions during their service, testing military equipment and survival
gear and studying survival situations in the field. With support from the Navy, Irving and Scholander established a research
laboratory in Point Barrow, Alaska.
After leaving the Arctic Research Laboratory at Barrow, Scholander went to work at Harvard University from 1949-1951. After
spending time at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Oslo, Scholander was brought to the Scripps Institution
of Oceanography. While at Scripps, Scholander worked to create the Physiological Research Laboratory, becoming its first
Director, and a laboratory ship, which resulted in the development, design and building of the R/V
Alpha Helix. Scholander also collaborated with H.T. Hammel, together writing
Osmosis and Tensile Solvent which was published in 1976.
Scholander spent the rest of his career at Scripps. He died in La Jolla on June 13, 1980. His autobiography,
Enjoying a Life in Science: The Autobiography of P.F. Scholander, was published in 1990.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection consists of papers documenting the life and professional career of physiologist Per Fredrik Scholander. Biographical
materials include curriculum vitae, biographical articles, and posthumous correspondence and tributes. Scholander's career
is highlighted by administrative files, research proposals, expeditions, and professional writings, including a collection
of bound reprints covering specific areas of his research activities. Of interest are grant proposals and correspondence
documenting the creation and development of both the Physiological Research Laboratory and the R/V
Alpha Helix at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There are materials on Scholander's committee service, memberships and honors in
local and national societies, as well as personal writings, including an autobiography. Also included are audio recordings
of some of Scholander's lectures and his memorial service, as well as a film labeled "Frobisher, Hebron. Supercooled fish."
Photographs, slides, albums, and scrapbooks record Scholander's personal and professional life, including birthdays, research
activities, and expeditions. Some materials were gathered by Scholander's wife, including posthumous papers and some scrapbooks.
The papers are arranged in twelve series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) ADMINISTRATIVE FILES, 3) PHYSIOLOGICAL RESEARCH
LABORATORY AND R/V
ALPHA HELIX, 4) RESEARCH PROPOSALS, 5) EXPEDITIONS, 6) MARINE LABORATORY STATIONS, 7) LECTURES AND SPEECHES, 8) WRITINGS, 9) COMMITTEE
SERVICE, 10) HONORS AND MEMBERSHIPS, 11) IMAGES AND MEDIA, and 12) ALBUMS AND SCRAPBOOKS.
Per Fredrik Scholander Papers, SMC 116. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Two sound recordings in the IMAGES AND MEDIA series have been digitized and are available upon request.
SIO Biographical Files, SAC 5. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Physiological Research Laboratory
Alpha Helix (Research vessel)
Scholander, P. F. (Per Fredrik), 1905-1980 -- Archives